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HARrWAlXH 



SAN FRANCISCO E XAM I N E R 



• • Sunday, Jdy 2H 989 t)-3 




DENISE CARUSO 



NSIDE SILICON VALLEY 




Apple abuzz 
over firing 
of programmer 

ZOOM WHOM? Brows 
are furrowed at Apple 
Computer since the 
firing of David Ramsey, 
the programmer 
accused of telling Apple "secrets" 
over the ether. 

CompuServe, an on-line 
information service, was the scene 
of the crime where Ramsey 
supposedly leaked the supposedly 
confidential info. 

Hundreds of messages on the 
subject have been posted since the 
poop hit the fan more than a week 
ago. Some Apple engineers are 
bionic over Ramsey's firing, saying 
he's a sacrificial lamb: Apple execs 
were humiliated when certain 
Apple employees still at large, 
calling themselves the 
nuPrometheus League, made 
headlines by mailing out a bunch of 
Apple's source code to trade 
magazines. Some think Ramsey's 
was a convenient head to lop. 
Though Ramsey won't taik 
about specifics, he says he wasn't 
fired over information on Apple's 
new system software. He won't say 
more, except that the information 
had been published elsewhere, via 
"an executive that was quoted 
rather wideiy quite a few months 
ago." But, he says, "Apple 
maintains that executives are 
different from employees and they 
have different privileges." 

Typical of Apple's willy-nilly 
approach to security, Ramsey's 
account on AppleLink, Apple's 
internal electronic mail system, is 
still active. "I was fired for a 
confidentiality breach, but I'm still 
getting updates on new \ 

unannounced products, as of 
(Wednesday) evening at about 6 
p.m.," he said. 

SO VERY HARD TO NO: It's been 
almost a year since I rushed the 
stage to get to Andy Hertzfeld at \ 
Macworld Expo in Boston. 
Hertzfeld. a member of the original 
Macintosh team (that's like being ] 
on the crew that drove the last 
spike into the transcontinental 
railroad), was asked during a panel 
discussion what he was working on 
and he said he was developing "the 



world's greatest TV." 

He wouldn't talk then, but last 
week he was invited to talk about 
the project at the Multimedia Expo 
at Moscone Center. Though he 
didn't say much there either, 
afterward he said the radical new- 
TV is being built by a company 
called FROX, soon to move to Menlo 
Park. The product will use a 
SPARC chip. 

Hertzfeld said the company us 
trying to keep a low profile, so he 
gave me the name of someone else 
to bother Hartmut Esslinger 
founder and president of FROX i the 
X is for multiple copies, like t he X 
in Xerox) and founder of 
frogdesign. the firm that designed 
the look of the Macintosh and the 
NeXT Computer System and 
about a million other sleek 
high-tech products. 

Esslinger says he's been working 
two years on the project, a little 
more than a year of it "day and 
night," but he's still shy on 
specifics. "I think it's too extreme 
to talk about yet," says Esslinger. 
He'd only add that it's not HDTV, a 
technology that he thinks is 10 
years too late. 

DO IT IN 3D: 3D computing has 
taken a turn toward the low end. 
Jim Clark, chairman and founder of 
3D workstation firm Silicon 
Graphics in Mountain View, just 
joined the board of directors of 
Paracomp, a San Francisco 
software publisher. 

Paracomp sells a package called 
Swivel 3D for VPL Research, the 
"virtual reality" firm, as well as 
i ither conceptual design and 
visualization programs. Company 
president Bill Woodward thinks 
Clark's presence will help 
Paracomp make 3D computing 
popular on less expensive 
computers like the Mac. 

Swivel 3D and another 
Paracomp product. Model Shop. 
are "really easy" to use, especially 
compared with high-end 3D 
software. Woodward says. 

NOMENCLA';im£ HACKING: The 

best product at Multimedia Exp - 
was color-Xeroxed copies • »f Mondo 
20C0 magazine, formerly called 
Reality Hackers. The magazine is 
looking for investors — "we want 
to invade mall culture." says 
"dominechtnx" Alison Kennedy — 
so the name-change was necessary. 
"We had cult appeal before." sa> - 
Kennedy. "But people didn't 
understand it. especially in the 
Midwest and on the East Coast. 
The word hacker has a distinct 
subtext of violence today, which we 
were never happy with." Some ot 
the most amazing stones about 
I technology I've ever seen are in this 
issue, but I won't tell you about 
them until next week 

Write to Denise Caruso, tiusiru ■ 

■■c <cn Francisco Examiner. P' 1 

Bex 7260. San Francisco. CA 9-1120 




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